The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) has raised a concern about the ongoing internal strife and lack of financial accountability among its affiliates. The concern was highlighted at the BNSC Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) this past Thursday. Addressing affiliates at the OGM, BNSC Chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng highlighted that internal strife and lack of accountability over finances are threatening to halt the progress of local sport.
While the BNSC Chairperson did not mention names, the concerns come in the aftermath of well documented internal strives and in some instances, accusations of misuse of funds at codes such as the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), Botswana Football Association (BFA), Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA), Botswana Softball Association (BSA) and prior to them the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) just to mention a few.
“It is only fitting that while I introduce the new leadership of sport who have recently been ushered into office I should also seize this opportunity to give a cautionary advice to all leaders of affiliates. Top among the things that draw attention is lack of accountability of funds disbursed to affiliates. As you would remember we approved the financial code of conduct at the AGM in Kanye this year. In this coming financial year, Secretariat will therefore be implementing the guidelines with your deserved cooperation in order to curb this problem,” Reikeletseng advised. “Secondly, there are constant cases of internal conflicts. As leaders we might not necessarily find synergy with others all the time, but we have duty to find common ground so that we do not compromise the very mandate that we have been given by our general membership,” the BNSC Chairperson continued.
Speaking in an interview on the backdrop of his address at the OGM, Reikeletseng said the problems have the capacity to halt all the progresses gained by local sport over the years.
“The thing is some of these come at a time when we are building and are starting to win in the international arena. This is likely to halt the progress we are making in our sport,” he explained. The BNSC Chairperson said the issues are counterproductive and destroy the credibility of local sport. “This is likely to chase potential sponsors as well as the general public away from sport. It is also likely to stop people who have good intentions of helping develop sport in the country from doing as such,” he explained.
Above all, Reikeletseng said the people who suffer the most from these are the athletes. “When two elephants fight, it is the vegetation that suffers. In this case, it is the athletes who are the most affected and are likely to be demoralised,” he explained. On what could be the major cause behind the internal strives, the BNSC Chairperson said he could not at this moment pinpoint where the problem could be coming from. “At one stage, issues were arising from members without portfolios (commonly known as Additional Members), at one point it was a tussle between those who regard themselves as “technical” and those who regard themselves as “administrative”. Now a new trend of conflict is within the very core of leadership of affiliates; being Presidents and Secretary Generals,” Reikeletseng said.
He however said the BNSC was hard at work trying to find where the problem is coming from with a view of dealing with it. He said to deal with the issue of financial maladministration; the BNSC will start implementing the guidelines agreed with affiliates at the BNSC Annual General Meeting in June earlier this year. Concerning the leadership of codes, more especially in the positions of greater responsibility like presidency and treasurer, Reikeletseng said the BNSC is busy trying to draft regulations to set standard qualifications needed for such roles. Aside from ensuring that qualified people are elected into office, the BNSC Chairperson said the hope is that this will also go a long way into eliminating factions within codes. The regulations are expected to be in place at least by April next year.